Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, January 17, 2021

The Sunday Salon... Resolutions, Rachel and Romance

It's Sunday! And you know what that means... Book talk! It's the one day of the week where we all get together virtually and share our bookish finds. Well, it's a little over 2 weeks into the new year and somehow I don't feel any different. Do you? It use to be January first marked the beginning of lots of
things, not just the new year. Resolutions were just waiting to be made. But as I've said before, I typically don't do any resolutions for the new year, except maybe some fun reading ones like how many books I think I'll read in a year, or the Book Bingo card I make every year for my book group, which isn't really a resolution as it is a challenge (which I think I'll share with everyone here this week now that I'm thinking about it).

Self help books seem to pop up at the beginning of the new year. Different kinds of help... mental and physical, and I've found a couple that are now on my nightstand. One is a declutter your space book, which doesn't remind me at all of that "other" tidying up book (which I did like. And which suggested and I did "clap" at my ever intimidating collection of books) Another is by motivational guru Rachel Hollis, famous for making you wash your face. Since your face is washed (or it should be), now she talks about making your life the best it can be. After all that anticipation of life changing reading, I escaped and finished up reading a great Christmas novel by Sheila Roberts called One Charmed Christmas. So let's sit down and talk about it...

Your Spacious Self by Stephanie Bennett Vogt... It's a jungle...in here! Most of us do too much, or have more possessions than we need. Or both. Our lives are caught in a swirl of attachments, overwhelm, and endless mechanical "doing." As humans it is our nature to experience clarity and spaciousness all the time. The problem is we lose focus, get off balance, and forget how. With inspiring lessons, humorous stories, and nourishing practices in slowing down, simplifying, and self-care, longtime space clearing expert, Stephanie Bennett Vogt, shows you how to clear your home, quiet the mind, and restore your spirit, in ways that feel good and last a lifetime... It's not our stuff, but holding on to it that creates a force field of "stuckness" that clouds our perceptions and paralyzes our lives. Clutter is not just the junk spilling out of the closet. It is any thing, or thought, that prevents us from experiencing our true nature and best life. Clearing is not a tedious exercise in throwing away, but a gentle journey of letting go - one small step, drawer, or moment at a time.

I found this interesting because it's sort of a workbook and it doesn't preach change as much as discovering there is a connection between a uncluttered space and an uncluttered mind. Discover that connection and you might be able to free yourself from some of those "ruts".

Didn't See That Coming by Rachel Hollis... Fear. Grief. Loss. Betrayal. Rachel Hollis has felt all those things, and she knows you have too. Now, she takes you to the other side. With her signature humor, heartfelt honesty, and intimate true-life stories, #1 New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hollis shows readers how to seize difficult moments for the learning experiences they are and the value and growth they provide. When it comes to the “hard seasons” of life—the death of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job—transformation seems impossible when grief and uncertainty dominate your days. Especially when, as Didn’t See that Coming reveals, no one asks to have their future completely rearranged for them. But, as Rachel writes, it is up to you how you come through your pain—you can come through changed for the better, having learned and grown, or stuck in place where your identity becomes rooted in what hurt you.

Rachel Hollis is everywhere. And now she's on my nightstand. She is a motivator and a really good writer. And who can't gain a little insight from someone who cares enough to tell you to wash your face?  Glancing thru this little book I see tidbits of how to manage stress, making a joy list and other life affirming suggestions. It's a cute little book too, something that would make a nice little stocking stuffer. This is one of three of these types of "self help" books where Rachel shares stories to illustrate how she managed to make her life better. Rachel also has a few cookbooks and some fiction mixed in. 

Besides reading motivational books, you still need some good ol' fashion fiction. I want to share the first book I read and finished this year... 

One Charmed Christmas by Sheila Roberts...  Catherine Pine is hoping her Christmas is a bit more jolly than last year’s. That one was her first without her husband, and with her kids and their families absent this year, she’s worried. But things change when her good friend invites her on a Christmas cruise
to lift her spirits. Suddenly every day is an adventure and she’s making a bunch of new friends, including the lovable Sophie Miles. 
It’s like a gift from Santa when Sophie and Catherine meet the charming Dr. Rudy Nichols, a perfect match for hypochondriac Sophie. But he comes with a two-legged lump of coal, his guard-dog daughter. And then there’s chocolatier Trevor March, who’s also interested in the scrumptious Sophie. Can he convince her that chocolate is the perfect cure for what ails her? Who knows what Santa has in store for these holiday travelers? Anything could happen this charmed Christmas!

I love all of Sheila Roberts' books. She's a great writer who mixes wonderful stories with just enough humor and romance to satisfy any reader. My reading group this month read One Charmed Christmas for our annual Christmas read and everyone loved it. (You can read my review this coming Saturday!) Sheila is genuinely a nice person too! We asked if she'd like to come talk with our reading group and she did this week as we Zoomed our meeting. What fun! So, if your in the mood for a bit of romance, don't hesitate to pick up one of Sheila's book. She's written quite a few, and not all Christmas. She has two series going right now along with the stand alone Christmas books she writes every year.

Do You Like Reading Motivational Books?

So, what are you reading this week? Since I finished One Charmed Christmas this week, I'll be picking my First Book of the Year (Good Dogs Don't Make it to the South Pole by Hans-Olav Thyvold) back up and finishing that. I'm actually slogging through it. Not what I thought it would be, but learning alot about eating sled dogs( even though it is fiction, ugh). 

Hope you've found something interesting here this week! Share in the comments what you're reading this week! I'd love to hear about it!

Oh and don't forget to look for my review of One Charmed Christmas by Sheila Roberts at the end of the week!

Happy reading... Suzanne

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